Egypt beat Cameroon on penalties to reach Africa Cup final

Sports Desk, Feb 3 (EFE).- Yet again, backup goalkeeper Gabaski was the hero for Egypt in Thursday’s Africa Cup of Nations semifinal against host country Cameroon, stopping two penalties in the shootout as the Pharaohs prevailed 3-1 to book their spot in the final against Senegal.

Mohamed Abou Gabal – Gabaski is the name on his shirt – had already won the hearts of Egyptian fans with his performance in the shootout that decided the knockout stage match with Ivory Coast.

Coming on in the 88th minute for injured starter Mohammed el-Shenawy, Gabaski denied Eric Bailly to give Egypt the win 5-4 on penalties.

The semifinal was a true clash of the titans. Egypt has hoisted the Africa Cup of Nations a record seven times, while Cameroon are second in the rankings with five titles in the continental tournament.

In front of 45,000 people in Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital, the hosts were utterly dominant in the first half and reduced Egyptian superstar Mohamed Salah to a spectator.

But Michael Ngadeu and Vincent Aboubakar hit the woodwork on Cameroon’s best opportunities and the half ended scoreless.

Egypt were better in the second half, with long periods of possession and Salah got into the mix, though the normally lethal striker failed to capitalize on a couple of chances and the match went to extra time.

The deadlock endured for the 30-plus minutes, forcing the contest to penalties.

Aboubakar and Egypt’s Ahmed Sayed each converted before Harold Moukoudi stepped to the line for Cameroon and watched Gabaski make the save.

Mohamed Abdelmonem scored to give Egypt a 2-1 edge and Gabaski denied James Lea Siliki to increase the pressure on the home side.

After Mohanan Lasheen made it 3-1, Clinton Njie fired wide of the post and the Pharaohs rejoiced in avenging their loss to Cameroon in the 2017 final. EFE jjl/dr

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